First Result from Old Rag

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dsjtecserv
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First Result from Old Rag

Post by dsjtecserv » Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:26 pm

Last Sunday night was an unusually clear night, which happily coincided with an overnight trip to Old Rag Mountain. I spend most of the night shooting star trails amidst the rocks on the summit, caught a few hours sleep and was up in time for a crescent moonrise and then sunrise. This is the first of the star trails, enhanced, of course, with Star Tracer.

The original exposure was four minutes at ISO 400, f/5.6 at 10 mm. I used several bursts from off-camera, manually triggered flash set at low power to paint the boulder.

Image

I'd appreciate any suggestions and comments on how well this works. I should have a few more, including a couple of panoramas, if everything works out.

Dave

maxlyons
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Re: First Result from Old Rag

Post by maxlyons » Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:49 pm

Dave,

Very nice. The sky looks quite orange...was this soon after sunset?

Max

dsjtecserv
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Post by dsjtecserv » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:03 pm

Max, no this was close to midnight. The orange glow comes from the lights on the other side of the ridge, most notably Luray. I had this in every direction I shot; its pretty much inescapable. I did balance the sky so that the upper part is neutral, but counteracting the orange glow would require going so cool that all the stars turn bright blue and the sky looks like mush. I decided to leave the orange toned-down, but still unfortunately present.

Dave

dsp
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Post by dsp » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:46 pm

I think it looks nice with the orange glow anyway. Less remote perhaps, but still nice. I did a quick edit to see it a little cooler, and I ran into a little blue, but not as bad as you describe.

Here is just a small crop, showing what I mean
Image

Basically two adjustment layers, the first a hue/sat, with sat down most of the way and a hue adjust, then a levels with the opacity down. Both are masked completely for the foreground/boulder, then a gradual fade from the orange to the top of the frame.

The picture has a very different feel without the orange though, and I prefer the original.

Anyway, I think this is a good demonstration of how star tracer, when used properly, augments the scene, rather than manufactures the scene.
cheers, Darcy
Last edited by dsp on Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dsjtecserv
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Post by dsjtecserv » Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:02 pm

Thanks, Darcy. That is certainly a convincing adjustment. I try to do all my color correcting in ACR, which doesn't allow for layers. I did try to adjust the hue of "oranges" but the slider doesn't go to blue!

I'd have to see the full picture but I might actually like the blue version better. The original version is a "true" representation, and the warm color adds a nice contrast, but I suspect the mood might be better served with the blue glow. I'm going to be preoccupied with meetings this week but I'll give that a look when I get back.

I agree that Star Tracer is an outstanding tool. You still have to "be there" to get the picture, and properly expose it to produce enough trail to seed Star Tracer. The program simply adds the representation of what would have happened had you opened the shutter earlier or kept it open longer (or both). It isn't manufacturing a false or misleading reality. (At least no more than changing the orange glow of Luray to blue!)

Dave

dsp
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Post by dsp » Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:23 pm

Here is the entire picture, hope you don't mind me posting it.
Image


The rock is exactly the same - no color changes at all, but with the blue sky, it seems to be drained of its warmth. Funny in that I would have guessed it would seem warmer in that context, but nope - the blue brings down then whole pic. As far as realistic, I think it looks reasonable...

cheers, Darcy

dsjtecserv
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Post by dsjtecserv » Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:57 pm

Darcy, no I don't mind a bit; that's very helpful. I see what you mean, I think I'm also partial to the orange one. But would you mind if I posted your version on Fred Miranda for comparison with he original to get feedback on their preferences?

Here is link to the thread: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/935728/0#8836774

Dave

dsp
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Post by dsp » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:21 pm

Post away!
cheers, Darcy

dsjtecserv
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Post by dsjtecserv » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:57 pm

Darcy, thanks. I didn't get much response on Fred Miranda, but those who commented preferred the orange glow as well. Also got a little discussion going on the ethics of extending star trails (as opposed to filling in gaps) but that didn't go far either.

Dave

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